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The Oxford Handbook of the Quality of Government


This brand new Handbook of the Quality of Government provides a thorough overview about corruption and the quality of government, featuring contributions from world leading scholars in the field. The book presents an overview of the most recent findings in the field and a new evidence-based analysis. It provides a diverse set of theoretical perspectives and points out avenues for future research on the quality of government.


Recent research demonstrates that the quality of public institutions is crucial for a number of important environmental, social, economic, and political outcomes, and thereby human well-being broadly conceived. The Quality of Government (QoG) approach directs attention to issues such as impartiality in the exercise of public power, professionalism in public service delivery, effective measures against corruption, and meritocracy instead of patronage and nepotism. The 38 chapters in this handbook offer a comprehensive, state of the art overview of this rapidly expanding research field and also identify viable avenues for future research. The initial chapters focus on theoretical approaches and debates, and the central question of how QoG can be measured. The remaining chapters examine the wealth of empirical research on how QoG relates to democratic accountability, ethnic diversity, human well-being, economic growth, political legitimacy, environmental sustainability, gender equality, social cohesion, and the outbreak of civil conflicts. A third set of chapters turns to the perennial issue of what contextual factors and policy approaches have proven successful (and not so successful) for increasing QoG. The QoG approach both challenges and complements important strands of inquiry in the social sciences. For research about democratization, QoG adds the importance of taking state capacity into account. For economics, the QoG approach shows that in order to produce economic prosperity, markets need to be embedded in institutions with a certain set of qualities. For development studies, QoG emphasizes that issues concerned with corruption are integral to understanding development writ large.

Keywords: quality of governmentimpartialitycorruptioncollective actioneconomic developmentdemocracyaccountabilitytrustinstitutionselites

The Oxford Handbook on Quality of Government

Andreas Bågenholm, editor
Andreas Bågenholm is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science and the Program Manager at the Quality of Government Institute at the University of Gothenburg. His research focuses primarily on various aspects of corruption and elections.

Monika Bauhr, editor
Monika Bauhr is an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg and a Research Fellow at the Quality of Government Institute. Her research focuses on the causes and consequences of different forms of corruption, democracy, international aid and public goods provision.

Marcia Grimes, editor
Marcia Grimes is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg. She is also a research fellow at the Quality of Government Institute at the same university.

Bo Rothstein, editor
Bo Rothstein holds the August Röhss Chair in Political Science at University of Gothenburg. Together with Sören Holmberg, he founded the Quality of Government Institute in 2004 and was its Director until 2016. He served as Professor of Public Policy and Government at Oxford University 2016–17 and since 2012 he is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.